Raised and Unraised Conditions, Semantic Interpretations and Pragmatic Aspects of the Verb “Seem” in English Novels
Keywords:The verb seem, raised and unraised conditions, semantic interpretations, ; English novels
This study examined the syntactic structures of raised and unraised conditions, semantic interpretations and pragmatic aspects of the verb seem in English novels (i.e., Yes, Robert, I shall be ready: it seems to me that I ought to go). The previous studies in the field of the verb seem concentrated on the data collection of EFL learners. This study contributes to the field by examining English novels as Kusevska (2020) indicated that the verb seem occurs frequently in this text variety. The data of the verb seem in this study was gathered from Jane Eyre by Bronte (2018) and Emma by Austen (2020). They are the best-seller English novels (www.amazon.com). As a total of 450,000 words, there are 43 tokens, referring to sentences of both syntactic structures of raised and unraised conditions of the verb seem. In regard to the data analysis, the syntactic framework of raised and unraised conditions of the verb seem follows Radford (2009) where the theoretical analysis of the verb seem is classified into two camps: expletive it and non-expletive it. The semantic framework of the verb seem follows Song (2017) who classified the verb seem as epistemic modality, referring to evaluation, opinion and comment. The pragmatic aspects of analyzing the verb seem follow Merkin (2006) who explained the use of the verb seem as uncertainty avoidance and lack of enough information as supporting evidence. Regarding the data validation, three experts who are English instructors were asked to check the reliability and the accuracy of the data analysis. The results show that 74.42 percent of the verb seem in English novels comply with the raised condition. Their semantic interpretations were found to be comparison, advice and subjectivity. Pragmatically, the subject of the raising verb seem is an agent, referring to the one who performs an action which is raised to the initial position of the sentence in order to place emphasis. This current study will be beneficial for learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and learners of English a Second Language (ESL) in order to study implicit learning of grammar of the verb seem.
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